Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency

Berlin, Germany

Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency

Berlin, Germany
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Dizer H.,Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency | Brackmann B.,Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency | Rahman M.A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Rahman M.A.,University of Gottingen | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Water and Health | Year: 2015

In an attempt to obtain a conservative estimate of virus removal during slow sand and river bank filtration, a somatic phage was isolated with slow decay and poor adsorption to coarse sand. We continuously fed a phage suspension to a 7-m infiltration path and measured the phage removal. In a second set of experiments, we fed the phage suspension to 1-m long columns run at different pore water velocities. Using the data obtained, a mathematical model was constructed describing removal vs. pore water velocity (PWV), assuming different statistical distributions of the adsorption coefficient λ. The bimodal distribution best fit the results for PWVs higher than 1 m/d. It predicted a removal of approximately 4 log10 after 50 days infiltration at 1 m/d. At PWVs below 1 m/d the model underestimated removal. Sand-bound phages dissociated slowly into the liquid phase, with a detachment constant kdet of 2.6 × 105. This low kdet suggests that river bank filtration plants should be intermittently operated when viral overload is suspected, e.g. during flooding events or at high water-marks in rivers, in order for viruses to become soil-associated during the periods of standstill. Resuming filtration will allow only a very slow virus release from the soil. © IWA Publishing 2015.


Sprenger C.,Free University of Berlin | Lorenzen G.,Free University of Berlin | Grunert A.,Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency | Ronghang M.,Indian Institute of Technology Delhi | And 6 more authors.
Journal of water and health | Year: 2014

Emerging countries frequently afflicted by waterborne diseases require safe and cost-efficient production of drinking water, a task that is becoming more challenging as many rivers carry a high degree of pollution. A study was conducted on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi, India, to ascertain if riverbank filtration (RBF) can significantly improve the quality of the highly polluted surface water in terms of virus removal (coliphages, enteric viruses). Human adenoviruses and noroviruses, both present in the Yamuna River in the range of 10(5) genomes/100 mL, were undetectable after 50 m infiltration and approximately 119 days of underground passage. Indigenous somatic coliphages, used as surrogates of human pathogenic viruses, underwent approximately 5 log10 removal after only 3.8 m of RBF. The initial removal after 1 m was 3.3 log10, and the removal between 1 and 2.4 m and between 2.4 and 3.8 m was 0.7 log10 each. RBF is therefore an excellent candidate to improve the water situation in emerging countries with respect to virus removal.


Bauer R.,Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency | Dizer H.,Helios Klinikum Berlin Buch | Graeber I.,Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency | Rosenwinkel K.-H.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Lopez-Pila J.M.,Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency
Water Research | Year: 2011

The aim of the present study was to estimate the performance of slow sand filtration (SSF) facilities, including the time needed for reaching stabilization (maturation), operated with surface water bearing high fecal contamination, representing realistic conditions of rivers in many emerging countries. Surface water spiked with wastewater was infiltrated at different pore water velocities (PWV) and samples were collected at different migration distances. The samples were analyzed for phages and to a lesser extent for fecal bacteria and enteric adenoviruses. At the PWV of 50 cm/d, at which somatic phages showed highest removal, their mean log10 removal after 90 cm migration was 3.2. No substantial differences of removal rates were observed at PWVs between 100 and 900 cm/d (2.3 log10 mean removal). The log10 mean removal of somatic phages was less than the observed for fecal bacteria and tended more towards that of enteric adenoviruses This makes somatic phages a potentially better process indicator than Escherichia coli for the removal of viruses in SSF. We conclude that SSF, and by inference in larger scale river bank filtration (RBF), is an excellent option as a component in multi-barrier systems for drinking water treatment also in areas where the sources of raw water are considerably fecally polluted, as often found in many emerging countries. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency, Free University of Berlin and University of Gottingen
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of water and health | Year: 2015

In an attempt to obtain a conservative estimate of virus removal during slow sand and river bank filtration, a somatic phage was isolated with slow decay and poor adsorption to coarse sand. We continuously fed a phage suspension to a 7-m infiltration path and measured the phage removal. In a second set of experiments, we fed the phage suspension to 1-m long columns run at different pore water velocities. Using the data obtained, a mathematical model was constructed describing removal vs. pore water velocity (PWV), assuming different statistical distributions of the adsorption coefficient . The bimodal distribution best fit the results for PWVs higher than 1 m/d. It predicted a removal of approximately 4 log10 after 50 days infiltration at 1 m/d. At PWVs below 1 m/d the model underestimated removal. Sand-bound phages dissociated slowly into the liquid phase, with a detachment constant kdet of 2.6 10. This low kdet suggests that river bank filtration plants should be intermittently operated when viral overload is suspected, e.g. during flooding events or at high water-marks in rivers, in order for viruses to become soil-associated during the periods of standstill. Resuming filtration will allow only a very slow virus release from the soil.


PubMed | Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency, Free University of Berlin, University of Barcelona, Helios Klinikum Berlin Buch and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Journal of water and health | Year: 2014

Emerging countries frequently afflicted by waterborne diseases require safe and cost-efficient production of drinking water, a task that is becoming more challenging as many rivers carry a high degree of pollution. A study was conducted on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi, India, to ascertain if riverbank filtration (RBF) can significantly improve the quality of the highly polluted surface water in terms of virus removal (coliphages, enteric viruses). Human adenoviruses and noroviruses, both present in the Yamuna River in the range of 10(5) genomes/100 mL, were undetectable after 50 m infiltration and approximately 119 days of underground passage. Indigenous somatic coliphages, used as surrogates of human pathogenic viruses, underwent approximately 5 log10 removal after only 3.8 m of RBF. The initial removal after 1 m was 3.3 log10, and the removal between 1 and 2.4 m and between 2.4 and 3.8 m was 0.7 log10 each. RBF is therefore an excellent candidate to improve the water situation in emerging countries with respect to virus removal.


PubMed | Umweltbundesamt Federal Environmental Agency
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental monitoring and assessment | Year: 2013

Thousands of chemicals are on the market, but only in a few exceptional cases is it known where these chemicals remain in the environment and what effects they are able toexert in correlation to their environmental concentration. In addition to monitoring the actual concentrations of chemicals in the environment, it is necessary to establish an environmental specimen banking program which will, in the future, make possible the retrospective monitoring of chemicals. The feasibility of such a program is being studied in a joint U.S.-German pilot project. The German project is described here, including its organizational structure, technical and scientific considerations, and methods of specimen selection.

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